Wednesday, May 25, 2011
Reading a JD Salinger biography over the weekend- an author I've never read, but find somewhat fascinating as a person- I came upon an interesting individual. His name was William Shawn, and he was a longtime editor for New Yorker magazine.
Shawn was a close friend of Salinger's and, by all accounts, an extravagant and eccentric personality. Idiosyncrasies such as he wouldn't live above the second floor, or wouldn't go through tunnels, firmly entrenched Shawn in New Yorker lore. But the most curious (and, dare I say in my most heterosexual tone, fabulous) rumor was this little slice below.
"There was always the rumor, totally unverified, that he was supposed to have been the child who was going to be kidnapped in a famous kidnapping in Chicago but another child was taken instead."
Granted, I'm likely the only person reading the above who thinks this is the balls. Still, when people are saying something akin to the above about you after sucking down a bottle of Old Grandad 114 with buddies around the campfire, then friend, you've got personality.
And if you're interested, the name of the book is: Salinger- A Biography By Paul Alexander. Ranked pretty low on my biography scale, but was an easy to read introduction into the life of one of our most heralded (I guess) authors. Might have to actually read A Catcher in the Rye, now.